Not that today's Primary (which had Pasasana tacked on) was bigger or stronger than yesterday's, but it was easier.
Both yesterday and today, under my bloodred stairs at the Y (which has now turned on the winter heat, up to 70! Decadence!!), I've really been rediscovering long breaths and, as Sharath says, "slow, slow."
When I was in SF in 2007, I would see the asana practice happen in slow motion, and I mean to a hallucinatory degree. I once saw a bead of sweat roll off my nose and take THREE FULL SECONDS to hit the mat. Real or imagined? Who cares? Real enough. It hasn't been that deep yet, but I've been holding every up or down movement until the breath is REALLY done moving, and it has totally mellowed out my practice. It's like, "Raise arms overhead. Hold em. Inhale pause. NOW lower." Simplest thing in the world, but total practice magic.
Not that I do the whole practice on breath pace, particularly around Marichyasanas C and D, but really doing "breathe first, move second" with intent, is very good stuff.
Everything was roses today in practice, until the just-too-intense-still Pasasana and then the backbends, for which I subbed bridges for wheels. Bridges got the white energy hip flexor stretch, without overcranking me in the abs/shoulders/whole body the way the wheel has been lately. It was fine. I did 4 and felt each one all over the hip flexors and quads, just where I want to feel a backbend.
You'll notice, if you've read this for a long time, that my backbending goes through these absolutely WILD cycles of high achievement and then massive reduction and then back and then forth, like some insane roller coaster.
That's always been the way. I think that because I keep all of my life stress and whining and whatnot in my hip flexors and glutes, that my backbending is quite literally a measure of my day-to-day life. Hour to hour, even.
Monday night nine days ago I got my feet in Kapotasana, and today I'm bridging four times? That's not physical restriction, that's sheer moodiness and life events.
This leads to that same, utterly tired, useless desire to "be" happier so that I can backbend in bigger ways. Silliness. More content in warm yoga room; Kapotasana. Less content with giant pile of grading under red stairwell; bridges. What shall I do now, go on the same future plan of moving away from here, finding Mysore room, finally landing some career stability, easing the insanity of socioeconomics so that I can crank into the insanity of advanced asana with both hands?
Of course that's what I want. Here, everything is backwards: my insanity is my base and my "sanity" (career, money, life) is utter chaos. That's fine, of course, because life permits everything, but I can keep expecting backbend randomness in these conditions.
I can just see the conversation: What's your final pose? Well, it depends on the part of the country I live in, my access or lack of access to practice space, the number of human beings in the room, capitalist socioeconomics, the weather and percentage humidity......
I'll still arbitrarily call it Kapo, but whatever. Practice day to day. It's not what you do, it's that you do.